Thai Foreign Minister and representatives from Thai Business Association in Hanoi to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations believe target is well within reach.
Vietnam and Thailand aim to lift two-way trade to as high as $20 billion by 2020 from the current $13 billion.
Mr. Sanan Angubolkul, President of the Thai Viet Business Council, said that Thai businesses look forward to cooperating with Vietnamese partners in order to penetrate into the 600 million-strong market of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which has total GDP of more than $3 trillion.
“In Vietnam, with a solid development policy, the Thai Business Association (TBA) is trying its best to contribute to the long-term benefit of local people by sharing knowledge, creating jobs and presenting opportunities to local businesses,” Mr. Angubolkul told a press conference for the two countries’ enterprises on July 8 in Hanoi.
Thai Foreign Minister Don Promudwinai also said he believes that over 40 years of diplomatic relations Thailand and Vietnam have not only become close friends but also built a strategic partnership. “Bilateral trade has increased significantly, by 40 per cent over the last five years,” he said. “Despite the unforeseeable volatilities of the global economy in 2015, growth increased by a steady 10 per cent, with total trade value of $13 billion.”
“This reflects the economic relationship between Vietnam and Thailand, where one country benefits the other,” he added. “It is safe to say that bilateral trade can reach $20 billion in 2020.”
He was welcomed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the same day, who called for the active implementation of the joint statement on the outcomes of the third Vietnam-Thailand joint cabinet meeting, the action program on the Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership for 2014-2018, and bilateral co-operation mechanisms. “Both sides should devise specific measures to implement the Action Program on Vietnam-Thailand Trade and Investment for 2015-2020,” PM Phuc said.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the Thai Foreign Minister said that parties concerned must exert efforts to settle disputes and to cooperate to transform the East Sea into an area of peace, stability and development, according to the government's news portal.
During talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh the two foreign ministers also agreed to bolster ties at regional and international forums, especially ASEAN, the UN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and other cooperation mechanisms in the Greater Mekong region.
Mr. Minh also recommended that Thailand continue efforts to maintain peace, stability, and security and safety of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, push for the peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of internationally recognized principles, including the 1982 UNCLOS, urge relevant parties to fully respect legal and diplomatic processes and seriously comply with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and accelerate the building of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters.
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Thailand has increased by 40 per cent over the last five years. Growth in 2015 was 10 per cent, with trade totaling $13 billion, according to TBA figures. Total investment from Thailand to Vietnam this year is $8 billion, ranking it 11th among foreign investors.